Cost of Living in California vs Texas: A Comprehensive Guide

People moving to another city on a beautiful sunset comparing the cost of living in California vs Texas


Texas and California are two of the biggest states in the US in terms of population and area. However, the cost of living within either state can vary greatly between counties or cities. When experts calculate the cost of living for a specific nation or area, they calculate how much consumers must pay to maintain a particular average living level. In other words, the cost of living is the money needed to purchase necessities like food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, and fuel. Let’s have a look at how much it would cost to live in California compared to Texas to help you make a more informed decision.

Why Are People Moving to Texas from California?

Texas has seen a growth in population in recent years. According to the US Census, the number of Lone Star State residents has grown by four million over the past decade. The data also reveals that many new immigrants were formerly residents of California.

The growing job market in Texas contributes to the outflow of Californians to Texas. In the past few years, numerous Fortune 500 tech companies have relocated from the Golden State to locations like Dallas or Austin. Additionally, remote work options have allowed some people to maintain their California-based employment while relocating to a more cost-effective state.

Texas is more affordable and has a wide variety of cities that meet the demands of virtually anyone. For example, there are active artistic scenes in Dallas, Austin, and Fort Worth. But also remote towns are ideal for those who enjoy the outdoors and animals. If you choose to settle in Texas, you can rest assured you’ll find your ideal place. 

Cost of Living in California

In the Golden State, the average adult can expect to make $21.82 per hour, compared to $16.41 in Texas. However, according to MIT, an adult requires a living wage of $45,382 in California before taxes, compared to around $34,127 in Texas. In general, California generally charges more for medical treatment than Texas. The expenses for food and transportation are also significantly higher.

Data further shows that housing is the highest spending category and the one where Texans benefited the most. Housing expenses in the Golden State are a whopping 48% higher than those in the Lone Star State. The disparity is even more evident for larger families. When costs for entertainment, dining out, pet care, and other potential expenses are calculated, Texas scores another victory. On average, people in this state spend 5.4% less than they would elsewhere.

Cost of Living in Texas

The data reveals that Texas is generally a cheaper place to live compared to California. In fact, three of the most affordable cities in the country are located in the Lone Star State: Harlingen, McAllen, and Amarillo are all ranked among the top five cheapest cities to live in. In addition, Texarkana, another Texas city, was included in the list of 25 cities. 

With a population of 423,163, Harlingen ranked second on the list, with a median household income of $41,123 and a median property value of $89,000. McAllen, which came in third place, is a larger town with a median home value of $93,400 and a population of 868,707. Both are in southern Texas, where housing and food are reasonably priced. 

If you’re interested in land investment, In West Texas, you can find a plot of land for an average of $1,657 per acre. For comparison, in California, the lowest prices for acreage are around the $5,000 mark. 

Benefits of Moving From California to Texas

Living in Texas has many benefits, including tax-free income, which means no money will be deducted from your salary. Texas might also be an excellent area for people looking for new employment chances due to its quick growth.

Housing expenses are another aspects where the Lone Star state shines brighter. The average monthly rent in Texas is slightly over $1,000, compared to $1,600 in California. The cost of a home is 42% lower on average in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area than in Los Angeles County. In addition, Texas offers far greater square footage per dollar than California does. 

How Far Away from California is Texas?

You’re looking at a 1,200-mile drive or a four-and-a-half-hour flight from Southern California to Texas. Of course, your journey would take a little longer if you leave Northern California. For instance, it would require a five-hour flight or a 1,500-mile drive from Sacramento to Texas.

Cost of Moving From California to Texas

Moving from California to Texas can be expensive. If you can fit everything in your car, the cost of the trip may be limited to the cost of gas and possibly a few hotel nights. Costs will inevitably rise if you decide to hire a moving firm. However, hiring moving professionals is usually your best bet if you have a lot of heavy stuff. The weight of the items you need to move and the distance you go will determine how much a moving company will cost you. 

Moving from Northern California to Texas’ eastern border, for instance, will be significantly more expensive than moving from Southern California to Texas’ western border. Moving from the Golden State to the Lone Star State will typically cost you between $1,200 and $8,000.

Cost of Living in California vs Texas: An Overview

In Texas, the cost of living is far cheaper than in California. In the Golden State, you’ll pay about 50% more than the national average cost of living, whereas, in the Lone Star State, you’ll pay about 10% less than the national average. While people might find it hard to make ends meet in California, they may have enough money left from their salary to save in Texas. If you still decide to stay in California, consider relocating to smaller towns like Landers or Newberry Springs, where the cost of living rates are lower than most of their neighbors. 

Regardless of your choice, here at Discount Lots, we have some exclusive land listings at affordable rates. Also, we believe we can make your transition smoother by offering flexible payment plans, so don’t hesitate to contact us today! 

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